ThisIsMiCasa.Com

A blog about food, crafts and family

ThisIsMiCasa.Com - A blog about food, crafts and family

Random Acts of Kindness

Many of you are familiar with my Advent calendar. We use it to count down to Christmas. The kids love it since it promotes family time and they get to do a different activity every day. You can read about it here.

I was on Facebook the other day and on my feed I saw a post from coffecupsandcrayons.com You can read the post here. They suggest doing random acts of kindness this advent season and I think it’s a great idea, one that promotes the true meaning I’d Christmas –giving.

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This is a very difficult holiday season for my family and I felt that this is a beautiful thing to do to celebrate kindness and giving.

I hope that you will join us in doing this or your own random acts of kindness.

Rose Birthday Cake

This past weekend my mother celebrated a milestone birthday. I was in charge of the cake making and so as always I hit the internet searching for ideas.

I wanted something simple and elegant.   Then I remembered the rose cake I made a few summers ago and it was decided.

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It is really a very simple cake to make. I made a plain yellow cake and filled it with vanilla pudding (my kid’s request).

After my daughter crumb coated the entire cake, I started on the roses. I used a 1M tip and covered it quickly. It literally took me less than 10 minutes to cover the entire cake.

It is one of the easiest cakes to make,  It doesn’t take too long and looks fantastic. I got many compliments on it because it looks like it would take forever but really, it’s quite easy.

The idea came from one of my favorite baking blogs — I am baker. You can find a link to her rose cake tutorial here.

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Happy baking!

Ikea

A quick look around my house and anyone can see that I am an IKEA fan. There are Ribba frames on my walls, Expidit book cases in my basement and bedrooms, Lack shelves in my kitchen, IKEA baskets in every room, rugs covering most of my floors and many products from their Hemnes line found dispersed throughout.

I was reading a Buzz feed article entitled

37 Clever Ways To Organize Your Entire Life With IKEA

I came across some extremely clever solutions. Take a look at these ideas
here

Who wants to join me on a trip to Ikea? See you there!

Kale Chips

I love kale. There, I said it. I know its the in thing to eat but I truly love kale. On a recent trip to Farm Boy, my good friend Tanya and I found kale. 4 bunches for $5. Both of us thought it was a great deal because usually we find it 2 for $5. Then we picked one bunch up….

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Each one was that size. Beautiful kale and from Canada too. We ended up only buying 2 so this past week we’ve been eating kale galore, even our pet rabbit has been enjoying it too.

We’ve had it in soup, I made kale pesto and mixed it with pasta, in a frittata replacing the spinach and even in smoothies. However our most favorite way to use it up us by making kale chips.  It makes a great after school snack and the beat part is that I control what goes on them.

I add some oil, salt and garlic powder

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and bake them. So easy and healthy!

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Here’s how:

Kale chips
4 -5 cups kale, washed and torn from stems into pieces.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt to taste.

Preheat oven to 275.

Toss in a large bowl all the ingredients. With your hands, ensure that all leaves are well coated with oil.

Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet. It helps dry out the leaves better. Spray the rack with non stick spray. Place the leaves on the rack careful not to overcrowd.

Cook 13-15 mins or until leaves are crispy. Let cool and transfer to plate.

Continue until all leaves are cooked.

Buen provecho!

Slow cooker Applesauce

One of my favorite things to make in the fall is applesauce. The only problem is having to peel, core, and slice all those apples.

A few years back I discovered an apple wedger and my applesauce making days changed forever.

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It is much faster this way. I first bought mine at IKEA but my current one is from  Pampered Chef.

Using the wedger makes this an easy recipe for kids to make. I always enjoy finding things for my kids to do to help in the kitchen.

I like keeping my applesauce as pure as possible. I don’t add any sugar and I also like keep the peels on for added nutrition and then I put everything in the slow cooker so I can forget about it.

It’s so easy and the house smells amazing.

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Here’s my recipe:

Slow cooker Applesauce

10 lbs apples (about a 15-20 apples)
1/2 cup water

Using an apple wedger slice your apples. Id you don’t have a wedger don’t worry, just core them and slice them.

Place them in your slow cooker, pour the water over them and cook on low for 6 hours.

Once apples are very soft, use your immersion blender and puree.

Buen Provecho!

Apples Galore

Look outside and you can see that the leaves are changing color and  you can feel that there is a coolness to the morning air. Autumn is definitely here.image

I love autumn for being able to wear cozy sweaters and boots, for warm nights by our wood burning fireplace,  for soups and stews and especially for apples.

 

I always have lots of apples but this year especially. I bought 2 bushels of apples plus we went apple picking so I’m pretty set with apples until next fall I think.

Apples are so tasty and versatile. The kids and I  love eating them fresh but I usually make applesauce, apple pies and apple crisp with them which makes the house smell amazing.

This year I ventured out a little more thanks to some blogs I read. I’ve already made apple cider donuts, some apple butter in my slow cooker and a batch of apple butter snickerdoodle cookies. I have a few more recipes to try however the snickerdoodles were so soft and tasty I just had to share this find with you.

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You can find the recipe for these super yummy and moist cookies here.

Since I’m always looking for new ideas, Let me know how you like to use up all your apples.

Buen provecho!

#1 Dad!

Father’s day is on Sunday. If you gave littles ones at home and are looking for an easy craft to do why not try making a trophy celebrating your #1 Dad!

I found these sturdy cups at the dollar store.

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Then have the kids paint them with acrylic paints.
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Once dry have the kids decorate them with stickers to personalize.

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So cute!

Happy Father’s Day!

Veggie Dip Goodness

With the warmer weather finally here, I find myself cooking on the Barbecue and eating outdoors more often. Hamburgers, grilled chicken, ribs, steak, kebabs, the possibilities are endless and oh so tasty!!

 

I love to grill my vegetables. I especially love them the next day cold in a wrap with feta, so good! But this time of year, farmers markets are open and local vegetables taste so good raw that it would be a shame to cook them.

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Luckily, My kids like snacking on raw vegetables especially with ranch dressing. Those of you who know me know that I like to change it up often, so to keep my kids on their toes I change their dipping sauce.

 

A few years back I came across a recipe for a dip that I tried and loved! I’ve taken it to many potlucks and served it at my place many times and everyone loves it! They always ask for the recipe.

 

Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

 

 

Veggie Dip

2/3 cups plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cups mayonnaise
2 tbsp each shredded carrot, minced green onion, parsley
2 tsp ketchup
1 clove garlic minced
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl and adjust seasonings. Chill before serving.
Serve with fresh vegetables.

Buen provecho!

Mother’s Day

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Next weekend is Mother’s Day. A day to take let your mom rest and shower her with love. Are you looking for a dessert ideas? I recently made these cupcakes and I think it would work great for this celebration.

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My bouquet has roses, mums, and this super cute marshmallow flower. It’s easy to make and it looks great.

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Once your baked and frosted your cupcakes with icing, here’s what you need:

  • mini marshmallows
  • Colored decorative sugars, divided by color into little sandwich bags
  • Food scissors

Cut each mini marshmallow in half on a diagonal. you will end up with 2  petals from each marshmallow.

Place the petals into a bag of decorative sugars, and give it a little shake. The sugars will only stick to the part of the marshmallow that was cut!

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Carefully place your marshmallow petals onto your cupcakes. They look great with little candies in the center, like M&Ms or pipe the center in with icing

To make the stems you can either use green licorice sticks or for a more authentic look, use real stems tied with a bow like I did. I went to a florist and asked for stems they were throwing out. They were happy to give them to me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Star Wars Day Celebration

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Those of you that know my family, know just how much my kids love Star Wars. They play Star Wars on the Wii, they have lightsaber duels, we’ve been to Star Wars Identities, Legoland in Toronto and have celebrated MANY Star Wars themed birthday parties. We have so many Star Wars Lego that there is really nowhere to keep it all and it’s slowly taking over all my shelves in the basement. We have the X-Wing, Y-Wing, and the Tie Fighter, The Battle of Endor scene, the Millenium Falcon, Minifigures galore, and so many more that I would need to go on listing them for a really long time.

Every Halloween for the past 6 years they dress up as Luke Skywalker, Anadin, Darth Maul and/or Darth Vader. I even dressed up as Princess Leah one year!

We’ve seen all 6 movies so many times I could probably recite the scenes and now we are secretly counting down the days until the premiere of the next movie. (December 2015 in case you were wondering)

If any of this sounds like your home then you will probably be celebrating tomorrow as we will. I received an email from DK Canada recently that had this activity book for the kids to do. I thought I would share it with you.

Here’s the link:

http://cn.dk.com/static/cs/cn/11/nf/features/starwarsboutique/DK2-star-wars-may-the-4th-2014.pdf

You’ll have to copy and paste the link into your browser. Have fun and

May the 4th Be With You